This Weekend You Might Hear the Sounds of Matachines
This Sunday, December 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Many Catholics across the world, but mainly in Mexico and the United States, will be celebrating the Patron Saint of Mexico as this day "commemorates her apparition to Saint Juan Diego in the hills of Tepeyac in 1531 where she asked him to go to the bishop and tell him that the Ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, sent him to ask for a church to be built atop Tepeyac hill."
Every year on December 12th, many make the pilgrimage to Mexico City's Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, many of them on their knees as a sign of devotion to Mary and to show gratitude. Here in the states, many will celebrate with an actual feast that includes tamales, buñuelos, champurrado and Matachines.
If you're Catholic and celebrate, then you already know. For others, the sounds of drums and maracas are what you may hear throughout the city this weekend- don't be alarmed!
Matachines go back many centuries. It is believed that the Spaniards brought the dance to the New World during colonial times as part of their worship- it was believed the dance originally acted out the battle between Christianity and paganism.
The matachines dance was seen as a prayer, when Catholicism was introduced to the Indigenous people, they continued dancing because it was the only way they knew how to pray.
These days the dance, or the prayer, is used as a way to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. Matachines dressed in their “nagüillas” will take to the streets as the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated across the borderland.
Even if you aren't Catholic or don't celebrate this, the dance is a beautiful experience.
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